Top 6 Electric Fireplace Inserts Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

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Electric-Fireplace-Inserts

In the wise words of the Starks, winter is coming. Well, in straightforward words, it’s time to get your home heating system up and running. If you’re reading this post, you are probably looking to buy an electric fireplace insert.

Compared to the traditional wood and gas fireplaces, electric fireplace inserts are downright revolutionary as they are cheaper, easier to maintain, and pose no risk of smoke or fire hazard. These inserts are excellent for homeowners who don’t like the idea of leaving a wood fireplace burning unattended.

And if you are on the fence because you prefer the “authentic” experience of a wood fireplace, think again. The electric fireplace inserts available in the market today are so realistic that you will have a hard time telling a difference.

Some inserts also produce heat using an integrated heater to offer that cozy fireplace experience. Adding an electric wall insert to your living room or bedroom is a stellar way to add an elegant ambiance to that space.

With no need to worry about ashes, smoke, or exorbitant cost of firewood, you can enjoy endless hours of warmth with these inserts. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the best electric fireplace inserts in the market and what factors to consider when you make the final buying decision.

Top 6 Electric Fireplace Inserts

Before we dive deep into each of the inserts we have carefully picked out, let’s take a quick look at what they have to offer:

      Image                              Product

VIVOHOME

VIVO Home

  • Style: Traditional
  • Heats Up To: 400 sq.ft.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Built-in Heater: 4,700 BTU
  • Cord Length: 6 ft.
  • Warranty: 1 year
Dimplex-DFI2309

Dimplex

  • Style: Contemporary
  • Heats Up To: 400 sq.ft.
  • Material: Metal
  • Built-in Heater: 4,700 BTU
  • Cord Length: 6 ft.
  • Warranty: 1 year
PuraFlame-Alice

PuraFlame Alice

  • Style: Ultra-Modern
  • Heats Up To: 400 sq.ft.
  • Material: Metal and Tempered Glass
  • Built-in Heater: 5,120 BTU
  • Cord Length: 6 ft.
  • Warranty: 1 year
Touchstone

Touchstone

  • Style: Contemporary
  • Heats Up To: 400-800 sq.ft.
  • Material: Glass
  • Built-in Heater: 5,118 BTU
  • Cord Length: 6 ft.
  • Warranty: 1 year
R.W.FLAME

R.W.Flame

  • Style: Modern
  • Heats Up To: 400 sq.ft.
  • Material: Metal and Tempered Glass
  • Built-in Heater: 750-1,500 BTU
  • Cord Length: 6 ft.
  • Warranty: 1 year
Homedex

Homedex

  • Style: Modern
  • Heats Up To: 400-800 sq.ft.
  • Material: Metal and Tempered Glass
  • Built-in Heater: 2,550-5,100 BTU
  • Cord Length: 4-5 ft.
  • Warranty: 1 year

Reviews of the Best Electric Fireplace Inserts on Amazon

Based on performance and customer reviews, here are the 5 best electric fireplace inserts online:

VivoHome Electric Fireplace Insert Log

Best Budget

VIVOHOME

We are starting with one of the most inexpensive yet highly rated electric inserts in the market. If you have a really tight budget, the VivoHome Electric Fireplace Insert Log 110V could be an excellent option.

It has a super realistic 3D smoldering light effect which is very rare for fireplaces in this price range. If you’re looking to add a warm, cozy ambiance to your living room or basement during the cold winter months, this offering from VivoHome is worth looking into.

For the kind of heating power it packs, this insert is quite compact in size and won’t take up a lot of space in your room.

That being said, it goes without saying that electric inserts this cheap are not the best at heating a large space. Yes, it will warm up a 400 sq.ft-big room quite nicely, but if you’re planning to depend on this heater as the sole heating system during a winter in, say, Montana or Wyoming, you should look somewhere else. 

Getting back to its features, this model comes with a timer setting and a remote control that makes it effortless to adjust the flame effect and temperature. The flame effects come in different modes such as pulsating, rolling, and vivid to suit a variety of moods. You can even enjoy these flames during summers, just turn off the heat.

Bottom Line: For the budget-savvy homeowners, this classic fireplace insert has it all – style, multi-functional remote control, and holiday nostalgia that only a fireplace can provide!

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Vent-free
  • Automatic heat cut-off feature when it overheats

Cons

  • Can be noisy
  • May overheat quickly at the highest heat setting

Dimplex Electric Fireplace Insert

Best Faux (Realistic) Flames

Dimplex-DFI2309

Dimplex is a well-recognized brand in the world of electric fireplaces and for a good reason. This Dimplex fireplace is a salient option if you’re looking for a functional yet elegant electric insert for your home.

The logs used in this insert are handcrafted to give a very realistic effect of glowing embers. If you already have a fireplace opening in your room, this will be very easy to fit in there.  All you need to do is place it in your existing fireplace and plug it in.

If you live in a place where winters are not as cold, like Texas, this insert can totally work as your main source to heat a room.

Another factor that makes this Dimplex log insert a good investment is its fan-forced, built-in heater that distributes heat pretty quietly and evenly. You won’t have to worry about loud buzzing or humming noise that usually is the case with a lot of electric fireplaces.

It comes with “flame”, “half heat”, and “full heat” settings so you basically enjoy it throughout the year. Forget about the risks of open flames, propane gas, or wood with the real thing; this Dimplex fireplace insert has everything a homeowner might want in an electric fireplace.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for an electric insert to add a magical touch to the upcoming holiday season in your home, you won’t regret the Dimplex Firebox. Weighing at 34 pounds, this insert has a lot of bang for the buck.

Pros

  • Handcrafted logs
  • Very realistic flames
  • Affordable compared to other high-quality electric inserts

Cons

  • Not the strongest heater
  • Doesn’t have adjustable flame

PuraFlame Alice Recessed Electric Fireplace

Best Log Set

PuraFlame-Alice

Do you have a small living room that doesn’t have a “wow” factor? Or a large blank wall that you’re not sure what to do with? Well, that’s where a recessed electric fireplace can come handy.

This PuraFlame Alice insert can really add sophistication and style to your room. This is a great option if you want to add an impressive focal point in an otherwise boring space. The cool thing with recessed fireplace inserts is you don’t have to have an existing chimney or hearth to install these. And you definitely don’t have to cut a hole in your wall.

However, you can’t simply hang this PuraFlame insert on your wall; its in-wall recessed installation only. It comes with two types of electrical connections: hard-wiring or plug-in. 

As for its features, PuraFlame Alice has all the bells and whistles of a high-end electric insert - realistic flame effect, stylish glass, elegant logs and crystals, and amazing color options.

This is a modern style insert that’s available in 4 different sizes: 40 inches, 50 inches, 60 inches, and 68 inches. So, whether you have a 250 sq.ft. cabin in the woods or a 1,000 sq.ft. basement, PuraFlame Alice is a prudent option. 

It has a mirroring fuel bed that makes it look like the flames are rising from the middle, giving a nice 3D and realistic effect. This model also features ultra-high intensity LED lights to make the flames very bright and natural-looking.

You can choose two options for the ember bed: crystal stones or log set, depending on your room décor or preference. The flames can be adjusted to work with or without heat for year-round enjoyment.

This electric insert also has a countdown timer to turn off the unit from 30 minutes to 9 hours. This feature is super handy if you don’t want to leave the fireplace on, unattended, for the whole night.

One thing that you need to keep an eye on is the fragility of the glass; it’s not as strong as it could have been. So, when you (or your handyman) are installing this insert, be very careful.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an electric fireplace insert that’s modern in every sense of the word, PuraFlame Alice can be a great investment. With touch screen buttons, 3 different types of rocks/crystals, and stylish colors, there is no wonder so many customers love this one.

Pros

  •  Several choices regarding colors of the model, crystals, and flames
  • Both logs and crystals are included (using both makes the flames looks extremely realistic)
  • Very quiet
  • Does not get hot to the touch regardless of how long you run it

Cons

  • Can’t be used as a supplemental heat source
  • You may have to contact a handyman/contractor to install it

Touchstone Sideline Electric Fireplace Insert

Best Overall Quality and Performance

Touchstone

Are you looking for an extremely good-quality recessed electric fireplace that can last at least a decade, if not more? Well, this Touchstone Sideline insert could be what you’re looking for. For homeowners who don’t mind paying a little bit extra for build and quality, this fireplace is a fantastic option. 

Touchstone Sideline has been designed for recessed mounting in walls, so even if you don’t have an existing fireplace or chimney, don’t worry. You will need to build a simple frame in your wall and install this insert inside the frame using mounting brackets and screws which are included in the purchase.

If it sounds like a lot, you can hire a handyman to do it for you, but we assure you that the instructions to install this unit are extremely easy to follow. If you do decide to install it yourself and run into any trouble, the Touchstone customer support is incredibly helpful, as many customers have said. Wiring can be plugged-in or hard-wired.

This model has 5 flame settings and 2 heat settings, and the temperature can be adjusted to “low” or “high” depending on the weather. We know we have said that electric fireplace inserts generally don’t have a strong heating ability, but this one performs better than most in that area. It’s quite efficient at making a room toasty warm. 

As expected, the Touchstone Sideline doesn’t disappoint when it comes to authentic-looking flames either. It has a variety of fire levels, from strong blaze to soft ember glow. You can switch between the flame, heat, and temperature levels through a remote control.  

It also comes with or without heat, and you can use the built-in timer to shut the unit off from 30 minutes to 7.5 hours.

Bottom Line: The Touchstone Sideline is the total package; solid quality, stylish appearance, and excellent customer support. If you can afford to shell out around $500 for an electric fireplace insert, this one is worth the investment.

Pros

  • Powerful heater
  • Realistic flames with 3 different color changing options (blue, orange, and blue-orange)
  • Both crystals and faux logs are included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You may need to hire a handyman/contractor to install it

R.W. Flame Recessed and Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace Insert

Best Heater

R.W.FLAME

Boasting as the “thinnest electric fireplace insert in the market”, this R.W. Flame unit has a lot going for it. For starters, it is available in 5 sizes: 30-icnhes, 36-inches, 42-inches, 50-inches, and 60-inches.

It also has dual operating modes, i.e., you can use the remote control or touch screen to adjust the flame speed, flame color, and flame brightness. And did we mention the LED flames have 12 different color options?

For homeowners who love variety in pretty much everything, this R.W. Flame is clearly a great option.

And we are happily surprised to notice the superior heating capacity of this little unit. Compared to many other electric fireplaces in this price range, this one can be used as a supplemental heating source for a room up to 400 sq.ft.

It also has an automatic heat kill safety feature, which shuts down the unit if it gets overheated.

This one is also a recessed fireplace like the Touchstone Sideline we mentioned previously, but it can be wall-mounted as well. If you are not a DIY enthusiast, don’t let it scare you; it is super easy to install.

The authenticity of the flames might not be as good as a more expensive electric fireplace (like the Touchstone), but the variety of flame colors make this one very versatile. For example, you can use the blue flame light when you’re playing video games, or yellow light to create a warm ambiance.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an affordable electric fireplace to mount on a wall or fit inside a cabinet, you won’t regret buying the R.W. Flame insert.

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • 12 different flame colors and 5 brightness options (which is very rare in electric fireplaces)
  • User-friendly design (tear-proof cable and touch screen)

Cons

  • Flames may not look very realistic
  • The front of the unit can get hot to the touch

HomeDex Electric Fireplace Insert

Best Modern Wall-Mounting Insert

Homedex

We have two words for you: affordable and reliable. It scores major points in the appearance department as well, what with stylish black glass and 9 different flame color options. 

If you’re looking to add some fun or retro ambiance to your living space or cabin, this HomeDex unit could be a nice option. In fact, you can even install it in your RV or motorhome, as one Amazon customer did due to its compact size and easy-to-install feature. 

The HomeDex electric fireplace is available in two sizes: 36-inches and 50-inches. The heater is quite decent at warming up a room up to 400 sq.ft. big. You can adjust the temperatures between the range of 62”H and 82”H, depending on the weather.

And like almost every recessed electric fireplace, this one also has a countdown timer that can shut off the unit from 1 hour to 8 hours. This HomeDex insert features ultra-high intensity LED lights to provide very bright flames.

This unit can be recessed or mounted into a wall or a mantel.

One thing to consider is the log here; it’s not too realistic or large. We recommend using a combination of crystals and logs to make up for this.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a decent quality electric insert that can be easily mounted on a wall, this HomeDex fireplace is a nice option.

Pros

  • Vents are in the front (not at the top or bottom), so the heat blows directly in an outward direction
  • Faux logs and crystals are included
  • 9 different flame color and 5 flame intensity options
  • Quality on par with more superior and expensive brands

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a “crackling fire” sound optionc
  • The measurements on the Amazon product page may not match the accurate measurements in the manual (so wait for the unit to arrive before you build a frame)

Electric Fireplace Inserts: Buying Guide 2020

So, you have thoroughly looked at each fireplace insert but all of them look so good, you don’t know which one to buy? Well, that’s what we are here for!

This comprehensive buying guide will help you choose the right electric insert based on your room, space, and style preference. 

Upgrading Your Home’s Beauty

No one can deny that traditional brick (masonry) fireplaces look stunning, but at the same time, we know they are not the most efficient or feasible option.

If you are on the hunt for an inexpensive heat source but don’t want to compromise on the aesthetical aspect, an electric fireplace insert could be the answer to your prayers.

These convenient inserts are vent-free, electrically-powered heating elements that are perfect for existing fireplace – either slid into that space or installed into a mantle. These units are “inserted” into the existing fireplace spaces, hence the name.

Now picking an electric insert involves certain steps:

  • Choosing the right size and heating capacity (if any; some inserts are purely for decorative purposes)
  • Choosing the “type” of insert: built-in unit, log insert, or plug-in unit

Let’s talk about these steps in a little more detail:

Choosing the Right Size and Heating Capacity

Size: Most home appliances are one-size-fits-all; an electric fireplace insert is NOT one of them. You have to choose the right dimensions for your specific space.

If you want to fit the insert inside an existing fireplace, be very careful while measuring the depth, width, and height of the hearth. And if you are buying a recessed unit to mount on a wall, you’ll still need to build a frame so, again, be mindful of the measurements. 

Heating capacity: Fireplace inserts with heaters can serve the role of a “supplementary heater” for your space. But they are not designed to serve as a replacement for a dedicated room heater. Depending on the climate where you live and the square footage of your space, you can make an appropriate choice. 

Choosing the Right Type

There are 3 types of electric inserts:

Log set inserts: You know those realistic faux logs that sit on top of a real-looking grate? They are electric log inserts, and they are best for homeowners who want to convert a standard wood or gas fireplace into an electric one without any fuss.

These are very easy to install; simply insert the log into your existing fireplace and plug it into a 110 V outlet. Log inserts are the easiest and fastest way to convert for existing fireplaces into electric.

Plug-in inserts: Want to install an electric fireplace into a mantel or a cabinet? If yes, then we recommend choosing a plug-in unit. These inserts are easier to install (though not as easy as the log sets). All you have do is plug them into a standard 110V wall outlet, and you’re golden (literally, we might add).

But if you don’t have such an outlet, you may need to call an electrician to add one inside the existing fireplace.

These have glass fronts that encase either contemporary glass ember beds or authentic-looking log sets, making them perfect for modern-style decors.

Built-in inserts: Also known as Builder’s Box units, these require the most complicated installation process. These inserts are specifically designed for direct and more permanent installations into an existing hearth or a wall.

These are a marvelous option for people who are considering remodeling their fireplace mantel. You can hard-wire this kind of unit into your home’s electrical grid, which is the preferred mode of installation. If you don’t want to do that, you can instead just plug it into a standard electrical outlet using a plug-in kit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Safe to Leave the Electric Fireplace Insert On Overnight?

There is no harm in leaving these inserts on all night, in fact many of them come with automatic timer of up to 10 hours for this very purpose.

However, if you don’t necessarily need the heat from it, we recommend unplugging the electric insert before you go to bed. No matter how safe an appliance is, leaving it on for hours on end, unattended, may not be the best idea.

But if you must leave it on, make sure you use the temperature control or thermostat to set a reasonable temperature. Choose a setting that would keep you comfortable but not overly warm. The thermostat will switch it off in case the insert gets too hot when you are asleep.

Also, remember to check the area around the fireplace insert to ensure there is nothing that could catch fire. Yes, we know, it’s a simulated fire but if the insert gets too hot from running all night, small objects (like socks) nearby may catch fire.

What is the Best Place to Install an Electric Fireplace Insert?

These inserts can be installed anywhere in your home – living room, bedroom, kitchen, basement, or someplace else. We recommend installing them somewhere you spend the most time in.

But if you need heating in a space where your current heating system doesn’t reach, an electric fireplace insert will come handy there. Keep in mind that inserts are not the most powerful heaters so you can only use them to warm up small spaces of up to 400 or 500 sq.ft.

Can I Install an Electric Fireplace Insert Under my TV?

Yes, you can! All electric fireplaces are completely safe to be placed under televisions – as long as there is an at least 12 inches gap between the two. Make sure the distance between the bottom of the TV and the top of the insert is at least 12 inches, or it can create problems for the TV.

Also, if you want to install your electric fireplace underneath the TV, we recommend buying an insert with heater in front like the Homedex electric fireplace insert. This will reduce the risk of heat blowing in the direction of your TV.

Wrapping it Up

Whether you want an ultra-modern looking design element for your room or you want to add that traditional touch of days gone by, you cannot go wrong with an electric fireplace insert.

With so many choices of inserts in the market, you will find the right one in no time, just make sure you know exactly what you want from the fireplace insert. Ask yourself questions like, what kind of ambiance do you want it to create? Are you okay with spending a lot on an insert with powerful heater or would you rather have a cosmetic fireplace insert?

We are sure that this buying guide will help you pick the best fireplace insert available. And if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to send us a message!


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